In general, we mentioned in our previous blog entries that neuroscientific methods are used for examining the consumer behaviour and decision-making mechanism during purchasing, better understanding the psychological phenomena and feelings in purchasing decisions, and making a more elaborate evaluation about the efficiency of marketing phenomena such as advertisements, consumer contests and product placement by analysing the neurobiology underlying these phenomena. However, basically marketing experts are enthusiastic about two main aspects of brain screening.
Firstly, marketing experts argue that brain screening will offer an effective way in the trade-off between costs and benefits. This is based on the acceptance that people are unable to openly express their needs when asked directly, and consumers’ brain contains hidden information about their actual preferences. Theoretically, this hidden information can be used for affecting their purchasing behaviour, and thus the cost of brain screening can be balanced with the benefits of developed product design and increased sales. In theory, at least, brain screening can show not only what people like but also what they will buy. So far, neuromarketing has focused on measuring the success of these post-design practices, particularly advertising campaigns. As an overall approach, a printed or visual advertisement of a product is shown to the participants, and their brain reactions are measured via “blood oxygen level dependent” (BOLD) imaging, which is regarded as a display of neural activity.
Another reason of excitement for marketing experts is their discovery of the fact that this is a well-directed marketing research technique which can be used even before a product exists. It is generally accepted that brain screening data can provide more accurate indicators about underlying preferences than standard market researches, and evaluations will not be affected by deviations which are a characteristic of subjective approaches. In this way, product concepts can be rapidly tested and those which do not look promising can be eliminated early in the process. Therefore, companies have a chance to better use their resources to develop promising products.
Author: Dr. Sinem Eyice Başev